Been busy and not all that inclined to keep the blog up to date lately so here’s a bullet list:

  • Just got back from Beervana in Wellington. Some amazing beers and some stinkers (oddly, a couple of the biggest duds were also the most expensive). New Zealand is producing some really top quality beer and I was surprised to discover many companies I’d not heard of before.
  • Came 3rd at the Western Brewer’s Conference for my Comte Ordinary Bitter
  • Reading The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker at the moment after watching the documentary Flight from Death. Interesting but having difficulty stomaching wacky Freudian fascination with the anus, castration, Oedipus and so on. I mean, really?? Come on. But I think Becker might be onto something with the whole fight/flight reaction to the concept of death and the need to use culture, symbols, beliefs and other illusions of immortality to quell that anxiety. Threaten someone’s culture/beliefs/illusions and expect an extreme response.
  • Just finished Truth, A Guide for the Perplexed by Simon Blackburn, Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels and Matter by Iain Banks
  • Next up: Escape from Evil by Ernest Becker, Two Little Boys by Duncan Sarkies, The Problems of Philosophy by Bertrand Russell and The Critique of Practical Reason by Immanuel Kant
  • Got a Kobo e-reader. Verdict so far: pretty good. Linux under the hood. EPub and PDF formats. 100 free books.
  • Visited Steam Brewing in Ota-two-hus. Fascinating!
  • Heading off to Australia on Thursday with Sal for a month of travelling around. Adelaide to Perth by train. Fly to Broome and pick up 4×4 camper. Three weeks through the Kimberley to Darwin. Going to Powderfinger’s last ever concert in Darwin. Fly to Brisbane to catch up with bro and family. And then home, home again, I like to be here when I can.
  • I’ve been mostly vegetarian for the last three months or so.
  • Not running enough and got the Auckland Half Marathon sneaking up on me.
  • GST change causing headaches for a number of applications I’ve been involved in. Didn’t think of that at the time. Doh.
  • I agree with Phil Plait about ‘dickish’ behaviour. Don’t agree with PZ’s approach. Sorry to hear about the Hitch but refreshing to hear straight talking in the face of mortality.
  • That’ll do for now. Sorry for the silence but there’s not going to be much happening here for another month or so.

7 Responses to “Update”

  1. Me too (busy, that is… REAL busy). Congrats on 3rd place!! That’s particularly impressive since you’ve not been brewing all that long!! I’m envious of all the reading you’ve done – I’ve just been reading tech stuff, and then only when time permits.

  2. Did you experience any damage from the earthquake?

  3. Damian says:

    We’ve got a couple of rental houses down there which have some extra cracks in them apparently but as far as I know everyone I know has gotten off lightly. I was amazed that there were no fatalities.

    Sal and I were out of the country when it happened and were on a train rolling into Perth in Western Australia when I received a text from an old school friend asking “Are your folks alright?”. Which is a bit of an alarming message to be sent without any kind of context!

  4. Tempted to attend next years Beervana – what’s it like from a Joe-Bloggs point of view?

    Remember seeing something about ‘Food and Beer’ and ‘Women Beer Drinkers’?

    Feedback appreciated, bearing in mind I’m obviously Christchurch based.



  5. Damian says:

    Hi Paul,
    If you are a Joe-Bloggs who likes beer then you really can’t go wrong because there’s a hall full of things you like. If you’re a Joe-Bloggs who is a beer-bore (to the point where people don’t want to hang out with you any more because your only topic of interest are the many facets of that golden nectar we call beer — like, say, me for example) then it’s perfect! There are some superb examples of beer available here in NZ and they’re all there under one roof.

    We’re up here in Auckland and flew down for the event. My wife enjoyed the seminar on matching beers to cuisine.

    So, yeah, I’d recommend it. Even if only once. And Wellington is a great place to explore while you’re there.

  6. Cheers for that Damian. I hate wine-wank and the prospect of this crippling self-opinionated crap infiltrating beer circles – fills me with dread. But I must move-past this snobbery issue if I am to attend an event of this nature. I love beer, dark/dunkel/porter beers in particular. So I’m a definite starter in 2011. A moth to a flame. Prost. Paul

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